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Public Safety Law (LEPS 530)

Course Description

This course introduces and analyzes a series of laws and legal issues central to leadership in law enforcement and public safety. Half of the course looks outward, focusing on the legacy of constitutional law that shapes law enforcement policy. Half the course looks inward, focusing on legal issues that guide and regulate public safety organizations.


3 units

In This Course, You Will:

  • Examine and apply the right to privacy as defined by a series of United States Supreme Court cases
  • Study emerging best practices for evidentiary and discovery challenges, with a focus on Brady violations
  • Use case studies to argue for the ethical and legally appropriate use of drones; many of these cases do not provide clear standards or best practices, so this is truly an emerging area of law that guides law enforcement practices
  • Analyze how 4th Amendment standards may and may not apply in the dynamic realm of cybercrime
  • Use case studies to argue for the ethical and legally appropriate use of body worn cameras; examine related best practices

This course is guided largely by hypothetical scenarios and case studies.  These scenarios present you, the law enforcement leader, a challenging set of facts where the related case law may not be entirely clear.  The legality of a law enforcement action is thus dependent on your ability to creatively and convincing apply existing, somewhat ambiguous, case law.

Student Comments

“Virtually every aspect contributed to my career. The professors and course work have caused me to think more deeply about my profession and how I might make a difference.”
-Spring ’17 Student
“The entire course is tailored towards current events and trends that affect my profession”
– Spring ’17 Student                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
“It was a great class. It stimulated analytical and critical thinking. Very well organized.”
-Summer ’19 Student
“Great class with exceptional feedback on the discussion points. This allowed from different standpoints along with your training and experiences. One of the best classes regarding case laws, the 4th amendments, search and seizure/warrants.”
– Summer ’19 Student                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
“I gleaned a great deal of knowledge from this course, knowledge I am certainly using at my current administrative level at my agency. Thank you!”
-Summer ’19 Student
“I enjoyed the podcasts and being able to read the text along with the reading. That extra effort reinforced what was sometimes difficult reading.”
– Summer ’19 Student                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
“I think one of most difficult, yet beneficial, exercises was writing an impactful, yet concise, paper under 500 words. I can see how this will be an important skill to perfect. Thank you to the professors for an outstanding course! I feel the value of
the course was worth it.”
-Summer ’19 Student
“The instructor made case law applicable to my current position as a police commander. Thank
– Summer ’19 Student                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
“I got more out of this class than I had expected. Everything I was learning about had something to
do with my job. My instructor gave me great feedback and I noticed I was improving with my grammar, spelling, and critical thinking. I really enjoyed the discussion board. I learned a lot from my classmates.”
-Summer ’19 Student
“Feedback and dialogue were great! It really didn’t feel like a one-dimensional online environment because of the constant engagement by the professor. The various modules, assignments and discussions really brought us full circle.”
– Summer ’19 Student                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
“The course was very informative and flowed smoothly week to week. The course is one of a kind and the material covered will have LE leaders prepared to address future challenges.”
-Summer ’19 Student
“The posting of very current articles concerning the areas we were studying was helpful. The instructor and other students were very engaging during the course.”
– Summer ’19 Student